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Why Bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by basshoundx, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. basshoundx


    Jan 25, 2014
    Right Behind You.....
    WARNING: Liable to be weeaboo
    So we all play bass here, but why? I'm certain we all have our own reasons and stories why we chose the bass over a multiple number of others, the elephant in the room being the guitar. I would love to here everyone's story as to why.
    Mine isn't much. I joined my middle school orchestra wanting to play violin, was told my hands were to chubby, so I had to play cello. Later I was switched to the Double Bass because no one wanted to play it. Eventually I grew to love it, and six years later, I still love the bass.

    So what's your story?
  2. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    I was always infatuated with the bass. It probably started when I was about 6 or 7, and thought Gene Simmons was the man. But guitar always seemed so "plain" to me. I finally bought my first bass when I got a warehouse job at 14. Although I have played other instruments on the side, I have never seriously considered switching my primary instrument from bass.
  3. I did not pick up an instrument in high school, waited until I was 50 and just decided it was time. I struggle with it, no real aptitude but enjoy the bass. There is even less of a story.
  4. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    for some reason, i always wanted to play it. it suits my personality. i was never much for flash, glitz and glam. i like a fundamentally important role, but don't really crave attention. i love rhythm and to feel what you are playing. it just fits me.

    will mcginnis from audio adrenaline was the first musician i saw and thought....there it is. that is what I want to do.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Everybody else played guitar; somebody had to play bass.
  6. I started playing guitar but found it pretty boring. To be honest I think it was taking music in HS and playing guitar there that kinda killed it at the time. One day I saw a bass for next to nothing in a pawn shop (old, low end Peavey model) and picked it up, cleaned it up and couldn't stop playing it!

    Guitar always seemed to be the fancy part on top, the bass, while not always as in your face as guitar, so to speak, it's what you danced to, working with the drums giving this heart to the music.

    It just kinda grew from there, had friends who played guitar, so we jammed. Another friend started picking up the drums and it just kinda grew to keep playing. Also played more guitar again too, but bass was always the primary instrument.

    These days I don't play much (of either), though hope to sort that out again!
  7. basshoundx


    Jan 25, 2014
    Right Behind You.....
    WARNING: Liable to be weeaboo
    That's the exact same attitude I had when I first started. I think people go for the guitar cause it's the "Glamorous" instrument, while bass is generally thought of as a "lesser" version of the guitar. I know people who equate the number of strings to importance when it comes to the two.
  8. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I'll third this.

    I started playing guitar in grade school. After a few years, a bunch of us started playing together, which started to develop into a band. We needed a bass player. No one in the entire school of about 200 kids played bass. I figured I'd be in pretty high demand if I played bass. Besides, Paul McCartney played bass, and everyone loved him :p
  9. That's how I started too. It wasn't until years later, in college, when I learned about James Jamerson and started thinking about the bass differently. I realized that it had just as much potential for creativity as the guitar, and generally less competition for spots in a band (because EVERYBODY plays guitar). So I embraced it and really started enjoying it.
  10. When I was between 6th and seventh grade my parents offered my brother a fairly large gift if he got straight A's the following year. Already being a straight A student I told them it wasn't fair to not give me the same offer. They agreed and asked me what I wanted if I succeeded. We were in Bangui at the time and the only fun thing to look at was a large Sears catalog that had Silvertone electric guitars and basses in it. I didn't know much about either and asked my Dad what the difference was. He told me that less people played the bass and the rest is history. :D
  11. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I started playing guitar when I was in the 6th grade. I enjoyed it. Went to a buddies house and his friend came over to jam who played bass. He had an Ibanez 4 string running through a Hartke HA3500 head and 2-410 XL cabs. Not sure why I remember this, it was like 15 years ago. But when he turned on his amp and hit a note I immediately wanted to play bass. I could FEEL the bass. It was the turning point for me. Still play guitar, usually acoustic, but bass is my #1.
  12. Like mapleglo, everyone I knew played guitar, so I knew bassists would always be in demand. And it was a lot less gear to lug than being a drummer. If it's good enough for McCartney, it was good enough for me.
  13. Helaskold

    Helaskold 100% Mediocre

    Jul 22, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I just love the way the bass sounds underneath the guitar... the way it just adds such a big depth to the mix. There's something magical about the lower frequencies and how you can typically feel them more than you hear them. Also, I consider myself to be a team player more than a leader of anything while still wanting to be a huge part of the action so it fits my personality.

    Plus, knowing that your instrument is what makes the girls shake their asses at shows doesn't hurt ;)
  14. I started playing guitar in 7th grade. Honestly, I still consider myself a guitarist that just happens to play bass (and keyboard if needed).

    In college, my friends wanted to start a Jazz Combo, but they already had an excellent jazz guitarist (way better than me). So I borrowed my brother's Ibanez EX-404 that he didn't use. Fortunately, I was already attempting jazz guitar, and had a background in music theory, so I could read chords and figure out walking basslines.

    Many years later, I joined a Cover Band as a guitarist. The bassist left, so I switched to keep the band going. I picked up different bass playing techniques over time to have a wider range of song styles. There are plenty of things I don't know about bass playing (technique, instruments, amps, repair, etc.), which led me here.
  15. Remus_Redbone


    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    Long story, but the short version is my cousin who is 15 months older than me returned from Japan after a three year Air Force deployment of my uncle (his dad).

    When he returned to my home town around the holidays in 1969, he had aged 3 years, but had also discovered music. He had a stack of albums be bought on the AF base. It was what you would expect from 67, 68, 69 era, Cream, Santana, Hendrix, Sly & the Family Stone, James Taylor, Grand Funk Railroad, & several others.

    He had a cheap Japanese electric guitar and a massive amp. He had been playing in a band, but he played bass. He didn't even own a bass, but that was all he spoke about and all he pointed out in every song.

    We gravitated toward Grand Funk. My cousin had their first two albums & "Closer To Home" came out in '70. Mel Schacher's tone & bass lines were completely hypnotic to a couple boys 13 & 14 years old. We would listen to those albums every day for the whole summer of 70.

    Fast forward to 1978. Several friends had acoustic guitars and were all trying to learn a few chords. I bought a $15 guitar and started trying to learn. In 6 months I had progressed a lot more than most. A couple guys took notice and asked me to come jam with them. They both had 1957 Les Paul Junior's. They suggested I try playing bass. I bought a cheap Japanese Jazz copy made by Cortly.

    I've been playing steady since then & still play in a classic rock band and a bluegrass band. Dozens of basses, dozens of amps, still have 13 or so basses. Started playing upright about 12 years ago. It's a whole new disease.
  16. Jefff


    Aug 14, 2013
    Paul McCartney, James Jamerson, and Bob Babbitt.

    Thats why
  17. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    For some reason I was always more drawn to the low end. When I was in junior high school (back in the mid 60's) I was really moved by the bass in some of those great recordings of the day, especially in songs by Wilson Pickett. The bass parts in songs like "Engine Engine #9" and "Dirty Broadway" really caught my attention.

    But what sealed the deal for me later on was what John Paul Jones did in "The Lemon Song." I thought that was the slickest, most sexy thing I'd ever heard on a bass. It was like, I didn't think that was possible on a bass!! About 3 months after hearing that is when I started teaching myself.

    I also started to learn guitar around 1996, but bass is my main love.
  18. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    The first bands I ever got into were Queen & Led Zeppelin. I always liked how the bass sounded. I loved that rounded sound. Years later I got into Iron Maiden and Metallica. I thought Anesthesia Pulling Teeth was very cool. So I decided to play bass I think in 1997. I also thought it was cool that bass wasn't nearly as popular as guitar.
  19. ncapone


    Nov 17, 2010
    I was listening to a lot of funk music at the time and just thought "I want to do that!"
  20. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    When I was 12 I met a friend who's dad sang at the Opry, was a Jordanaire more than once (he actually visited Graceland and left 3 days before Elvis died), and owned his own country-music supper club in Nashville. He was (and is) an enormously talented singer... and his son, my friend, was (and is) too. The Beatles, Elvis, Queen, Zep, (he does a creepy perfect Stevie Nicks), Tull, RUSH (better than any tribute band I've heard to this date), he played professional harmonica at 13 (and toured), and he played guitar. Naturally, I MUST play bass! (Besides, he was more into Lennon, I was more into McCartney).

    That's what got me started, but what kept me playing for 38 years non-stop was Geddy Lee. He just made the riffing, runs and fills on bass more fun than they could possibly be on ANY other instrument. And bass could get as simple - or as complicated - as the player wants.

    PROUD to have started on bass and PROUD to finish on it! :)